Episode 2 of Shikabane Hime: Aka, “Continuing playtime”, starts off with a proper opening sequence this time. It looks pretty cool, although it’s still rather generic. Anyways, this episode is about the story of shikabane that arose from dead children who were killed in a traffic accident. One of the them raises a furor as she appears to come back from the dead during her funeral. However, their idea of play is rather gruesome, and they end up killing a whole lot of people.
When Makina has one of them in her gunsights, she’s impaled and severely wounded before she can shoot its head off. To compound matters, the shikabane reverts to her pre-death cute child appearance and asks for help from Ouri, who had just arrived to pay a visit to the apparently revived child. Ouri takes the child away, and Makina isn’t able to follow them immediately due to her wounds.
The final confrontation occurs at a nearby playground, where Ouri finally learns of the children’s true nature. Makina seemed to unconsciously try to protect Ouri a few times. The midget shikabane merge together to form a giant shikabane, but in the end Makina is victorious. However, I’m tempted to suggest that she carry a more powerful assault rifle: I somehow doubt even twin submachine guns would be more powerful than a proper assault rifle, which might be a factor considering how difficult shikabane could be to destroy. We do see that Ouri still recognizes the humanity remaining in the shikabane.
Other things that we learn about in this episode is that the religious organization that Keisei works for has a handler and a fighter, probably a shikabane, working together to combat spontaneously arisen shikabane. The average handler probably considers their underling as nothing more than a tool, although Keisei definitely treats Makina as a person. We also learn that Ouri coincidentally works part-time at a cafe operated by a similar pairing, although he’s not aware of it and I’m not sure if the pair are from the same organization or even whether the team composition is even the same.
And Keisei is one of us: if he hadn’t become a priest presumably because of his relationship with Makina and what happened to her (whatever they may be), he would have been a much more prominent otaku.